Free throws can win - or lose - a basketball game. On Sunday, they can win two area young people advancement to the district competition of the Elks National Hoop Shoot free throw program.
Sumter Elks Lodge No. 855 will host its local free throw …
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Sumter Elks Lodge No. 855 will host its local free throw competition for boys and girls ages 8 to 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Alice Drive Middle School gym, 40 Miller Road.
The Elks National Foundation sponsors the overall competition, while the Sumter Elks sponsor the local Hoop Shoot, according to Al Mossell, director of the event. There is no charge to competitors, who may register from 1 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the gym.
The foundation has been sponsoring the competition for more than 45 years as a character-building program, in which competitors "learn about the importance of respect and good sportsmanship" and "to be humble after a successful win and are prepared to accept defeat gracefully."
Another stated aim of Elks National is to "develop gritty kids (because) Research suggests grit is a more accurate predictor of success than social intelligence, good looks, physical health or IQ."
The competition is divided by age group within the 8- to 13-year-old eligibility range. One boy and one girl will advance to the district competition and the opportunity to win again and continue on through state, regional and national events. Winners of the national championships will have their names inscribed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will receive the Getty Powell Award for most baskets made during the national finals.
Registration for Sunday's Hoop Shoot competition begins at 1 p.m. in the Alice Drive Middle School gym, and the event starts at 1:30 p.m.
Gym shoes are required, and pants, gym shorts or basketball uniforms are acceptable attire.
Complete contest rules can be found at the official website, www.elks.org/hoopshoot/compete/playbook.cfm.
For more information, call Mossell at (803) 972-7188.
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